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MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
SUBSCRIBERS EDITION


     

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Title:

Magick in Theory and Practice (Subscriber’s Edition).

   

Upper Cover

 

Lower Cover

 

Interior Cover

 

Spine

 

Top Edge Gilt

 

Title Page

 

Dust Jacket

 

Dust Jacket Spine

 

Lecram Press

 

Print
Variations
:

3,000 copies (in four parts)2

Printed on machine-made paper.4
Most copies with top edge gilt.4 
Bound in reddish buckram.1
Spine stamped in gilt. horizontally across spine ‘MAGICK | IN THEORY | AND PRACTICE | [rule] | THE | MASTER THERION | (ALEISTER CROWLEY) | SUBSCRIBER’S | EDITION’.3
Buff dustwrapper.4  Dustwrapper lettered in black [within an ornamental frame] ‘MAGICK | IN THEORY AND PRACTICE | [triangular ornament] | THE MASTER THERION | (ALEISTER CROWLEY)’.5  Dustwrapper spine lettered in black  ‘[double rule] | MAGICK | IN THEORY | AND PRACTICE | [rule] | THE | MASTER THERION | (ALEISTER CROWLEY) | 42'- | NET. | SUBSCRIBER’S | EDITION [double rule]’.5
10” x 7 1/4”.5  (Cut down from the original
11 1/4” x 7 5/8” of the individual volumes)

 
Publisher: Privately published.  
Printer: Lecram Press.5  
Published At: Paris / London.  
Date: 1930.1  Although 1929 is stated as the publication date, this book was not actually published in this state until 1930.  The publication date of 1929 refers to the publication date of the first volume.  
Edition: 1st Edition as such.  
Pages:

xxxiv + 436.3

 
Price:

Priced at 42 shillings.5

 

Remarks:

This edition is a set of the first issues cut down and bound as one volume.

The title page for this edition differs from the original used in Volume 1 of the original four-volume set.  It gives the author as both The Master Therion and Aleister Crowley, omits the subtitle Book Four, Part III’, and gives a publication date of 1929.1  
This edition does not contain the color plate included with the individually published Section 1 of Magick in Theory and Practice.1 
Some copies have a sheet giving the Signs of the Grades bound in.1

The Lecram Press was instructed to send the copies of Magick to the Mandrake Press for distribution.6  After the demise of the Mandrake Press, Crowley met with the bookseller, William Alfred Foyle, and his daughter Christina, on 17 August 1932, and arranged to buy half of the four hundred remaining copies of Magick for five shillings apiece.7

 
Pagination:3
Page(s)  
[  i] Motto ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’
[  ii] Blank
[  iii] Title-page
[  iv] Printer’s imprint ‘PRINTED AT THE LECRAM PRESS, PARIS’
[  v] Divisional title ‘HYMN TO PAN’
[  vi] Blank
[vii-ix] Text
[  x] Blank
[  xi] Divisional title ‘INTRODUCTION’
[  xii] Blank
[xiii-xxix] Text (Introduction)
[  xxx] Blank
[xxxi-xxxiv] Contents
[1-205] Text
[206] Blank
[207-301] Text (Appendices)
[302] Blank
[303] Divisional title ‘APPENDIX V | A FEW OF THE PRINCIPAL CORRESPONDENCES | OF THE QABALAH. | REPRINTED WITH ADDITIONS FROM | 777’
[304-436] Text (appendices)
[437] Blank
[438] Colophon ‘[rule] | LECRAM, IMP. PARIS | [rule]’
 
Contents:
    Hymn to Pan
    Introduction
0   The Magical Theory of the Universe
I   The Principles of Ritual
II   The Formulae of the Elemental Weapons
III   The Formula of Tetragrammaton
IV   The Formula of Alhim: also that of Alim
V   The Formula of I.A.O.
VII   The Formula of the Neophyte
VII   The Formula of the Holy Graal: and of Abrahadabra, and of Certain Other Words; with some remarks on the Magical Memory
VIII   Of Equilibrium: and of the General and Particular Method of Preparation of the Furniture of the Temple and the Instruments of Art
IX   Of Silence and Secrecy: and of the Barbarous Names of Evocation
X   Of the Gestures
XI   Of our Lady BABALON, and of the Beast whereon she rideth: also concerning Transformations
XII   Of the Bloody Sacrifice and Matters Cognate
XIII   Of the Banishings and of the Purifications
XIV   Of the Consecrations: with some Account of the Nature and Nurture of the Magical Link
XVI(1)   Of the Oath
XV   Of the Invocation
XVI(2)   Of the Charge to the Spirit: with some Account of the Constraints and Curses occasionally necessary
XVII   Of the License to Depart
XVIII   Of Clairvoyance: and of the Body of Light, its Powers and its Development, also concerning Divinations
XIX   Of Dramatic Rituals
XX   Of the Eucharist: and of the Art of Alchemy
XXI   Of Black Magick: of the Main Types of the Operations of Magick Art: and of the Powers of the Sphinx
Appendix I   Bibliography and Curriculum of the A\A\
Appendix II   One Star in Sight
Appendix III   Notes on the nature of the “Astral Plane”
Appendix IV   Liber Samekh - Theurgia Goetia Summa (Congressus Cumm Daemone)
Appendix V   A few of the principal correspondences of the Qabalah
Appendix VI   A few principal Rituals
Appendix VII   A few of the principal instructions authorised by the A\A\
 

Author’s
Working
Versions:

1.

Page proofs.  Pages:  79-80.  Warburg Institute Collection.

2. Manuscript outlining a new abridged edition.  Pages:  57.  Warburg Institute Collection.
 

Other
Known
Editions:

+ Section 1, Lecram Press, Paris, 1929.
+ Section 2, Lecram Press, Paris, 1929/1930.
+ Section 3, Lecram Press, Paris, 1930.
+

Section 4, Lecram Press, Paris, 1930.

+ Magie in Theorie und Praxis, Serialized in Hain der Isis Zeitschr, Germany, 1930-1931.
+ Magick in Theory and Practice, Serialized in Revue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes, France, 1932.8
 
Bibliographic
Sources:
1.

Aleister Crowley with Victor B. Neuburg and Leila Waddell, Magick, Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, San Francisco, CA, 2008, pp. 725-727.

2.

Ibid, pp. lxxviii-lxxix.

3.

Dianne Frances Rivers, A Bibliographic List with Special Reference To the Collection at the University of Texas,  Master of Arts Thesis, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1967, pp. 123-124.     

4.

Gerald Yorke, A Bibliography of the Works of Aleister Crowley (Expanded and Corrected by Clive Harper from Aleister Crowley, the Golden Dawn and Buddhism:  Reminiscences and Writings of Gerald Yorke, Keith Richmond, editor, The Teitan Press, York Beach, ME, 2011, p. 53.

5. Personal observation of the item.
6. Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., Perdurabo:  The Life of Aleister Crowley, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010, p. 442.
7. Ibid, p. 463.
8.

J. Edward Cornelius, The Aleister Crowley Desk Reference, The Teitan Press, York Beach, Maine, 2013, p. 209.

 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     In one way or another, for all that, I achieved an enormous amount of work in the three years. But my most important labours have been definitely magical. I practically re-wrote the third part of Book Four. I showed the manuscripts to Soror Rhodon (Mary Butts) and asked her to criticize it thoroughly. I am extremely grateful to her for her help, especially in indicating a large number of subjects which I had no discussed. At her suggestion, I wrote essay upon essay to cover every phase of the subject. The result has been the expansion of the manuscript into a vast volume, a complete treatise upon the theory and practice of Magick, without any omissions. I further added appendices, the first giving an account of the system of initiation of the A\A\. Next comes a curriculum of the classics of Magick and mysticism. Thirdly, I illustrate the text of the treatise by giving actual example of ritual. Fourthly, I propose to reprint the more important books of instruction of the A\A\ from The Equinox; and finally, I crown the work by Liber Samekh, the operation of the Sacred Magick of the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, as proved effective in my own experience, and confirmed by that of Frater Progradior for whose benefit I set it forth in writing.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 922.
 
Reviews:

Crowley’s Magick

By Paul Brunton

 

The appearance of a new book (Magick in Theory and Practice) by Aleister Crowley recalls to memory an earlier work by that author which came for review into the hands of G.K. Chesterton some years ago.  Writing in the Daily News, G.K.C. wittily remarked:

“We have all possible respect for Mr. Crowley’s religious symbols and we do not object to his calling upon Shu at any hour of the night. Only it would be unreasonable of him to complain if his religious exercises were generally mistaken for an effort to drive away cats!”

There are several exercises in the present book whose purpose might similarly be mistaken if a neighbour overheard one practising them.

It is known that Aleister Crowley has been working on the manuscript of this book for several years, though not continuously, and that he regards it as his supreme contribution to technical or practical magic.  It is not quite clear, however, why Crowley has resumed his old pseudonym of the “Master Therion.”

Magick in Theory and Practice runs to the length of 436 pages and consists of four parts, each separately bound in strong paper.  Before I turn to the work of the author, I would like to pass a deserved compliment to the printer.

Crowley persists in using the archaic spelling of the word “magic” throughout his books.  This is undoubtedly a matter wherein he is right.  “Magick” certainly upholds the wider and more philosophical connotation of the term which it possesses among the initiated.  One would like to follow Aleister Crowley in restoring the true spelling of the term, but editors and printers are pontiffs whose bidding must be obeyed.

Part One of this book opens with an appropriate introductory chapter wherein the author presents his twenty-eight theorems in the science and art of Magic.  The first theorem is simple but interesting: “Every intentional act is a Magical Act.”  The twentieth is equally interesting:  “Man can only attract and employ the forces for which he is really fitted.”

In a further chapter Crowley proceeds to describe his theory of the universe.  His aim would appear to be a reconciliation of the Dualistic, Monistic and Nihilistic theories.  His conclusion is that our true knowledge of the material universe consists principally of the concepts of pure mathematics.

The remaining chapters take up a consideration in detail of those Magical formulae which compose the rituals of the art.  Thus we have the wand, the cup and the pentacle among elemental weapons; Tetragrammaton, Alhim and I.A.O. among evocative names.

I am afraid that on page 65 Crowley loses his head when he tells readers that not even God can check the Magician upon his chosen path, but must be obedient to him.  The part is declared to be greater than the whole!

An unpleasant chapter on blood sacrifices contains this astonishing statement:

“For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which contains the greatest and purest force.  A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim. . . .  It appears from the Magical Records of Frater Perdurabo (i.e. Aleister Crowley) that he made this particular sacrifice on an average about 150 times every year between 1912 and 1928.”

This is doubtless nothing more than one of Crowley’s practical jokes, though a particularly nasty one.  Crowley once boasted that he had killed and ate the bodies of two native bearers in India.  A prominent journal heard of this boast and sent a reporter to obtain his authentication, which was readily given.  Thereupon the next issue of the journal appeared with the headline:  “Crowley the Cannibal!”  I regret to say that a humourless audience was completely deceived by this posturing.  Crowley has a predilection for practical jokes.  He holds nothing sacred, not even himself.

The choicest literary piece of Part One has been reserved for the final chapter.  With that characteristic modesty for which he is so justly celebrated, Aleister Crowley explains that the outbreak of war in 1914 was due to the publication of his Book of the Law the previous year. “The intrinsic power of the truth of the Law,” he adds proudly, “and the impact of the publication, were sufficient to shake the world . . . the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilization.”

At last we know the truth!  It was not Kaiser Wilhelm; it was not the fear and suspicion among national governments which caused the war; it was none other than Aleister Crowley himself!

Part Two of this remarkable book covers some of the operations in Magical ceremonies.

Some interesting chapters on Clairvoyance and Divination close this part.  A common method among the adepts is that involving fixation of sight.  Crowley’s method is very different.  He instructs the pupil to imagine a shape resembling his own body, standing immediately in front of him.  When the concentration is strong enough, he is to transfer consciousness to this “body of light” while keeping the physical eyes shut.  Then one is to use the eyes of this thought-body.

Part Three inaugurates a series of appendices, which provide the reader with a variety of informative notes.  We are given a glimpse of the structure of Crowley’s organization, to which he mysteriously refers as the A\A\ and to which he applied the designation in earlier days of “The Great White Brotherhood”.  It can be stated here, however, that the letters stand for “Atlantean Adepts”.

Part Four contains a noteworthy Dictionary of Correspondences, harmonizing the Cabbala with Egyptian, Hindu and Chinese magical systems.  It is reprinted from his pre-war work, Liber 777, which, I believe, is now wholly unobtainable.  Letters, numbers, names, etc., belonging to these systems are brought into line with each other.  Crowley explains that there is a natural connection between them all as well as with certain symbols.

The later chapters describe a series of rituals and incantations. I append a fair and funny sample of the kind of matter they contain:

 

“The Animadversion towards the Aeon.

Let the Magician, robed and armed as he may deem to be fit, turn his face towards Boleskine.

Let him strike the battery 1-3-3-3-1.

Let him describe a circle about his head, crying NUIT!

Let him touch the centre of his forehead, his mouth, and his larynx, crying AIWAZ!

Let him break into the dance, tracing a centripetal spiral widdershins, enriched by revolutions upon his axis as he passeth his quarter, until he come to the centre of the circle.”

 

Is this Practical Magic? Or is it lunacy?  Or is it just another bit of fooling on Crowley’s part?

One chapter deals with the control of breath.  It gives certain Hatha Yoga practices in an altered form, but their dangers can hardly have been lessened.  Crowley informs us that his last birth in a physical body was Eliphas Levi, the French writer on Magic.  As an interesting confirmation of this statement he tells us that Levi died six months before the birth of the author of Magick in Theory and Practice.  I will supplement this with the information that Crowley told his friends in pre-war days that the illustrious Count Cagliostro was another earlier incarnation of his, a claim that was also made, or at any rate implied, by Mdme. Blavatsky when requested by Dr. Franz Hartmann to tell him what was her last incarnation.  She went to a drawer and took out a portrait of Cagliostro, and gave him to understand that this distinguished personage had provided a sheath for her soul.

I am therefore forced to the conclusion that Aleister Crowley and H.P. Blavatsky are one and the same person.  But since this theory scarcely seems tenable, the final judgment must be, in Lord Tennyson’s phrase, that “someone had blundered!”
—The Occult Review, November 1932. 

 
       
   

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